ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Health is poised to take strict action against the flourishing quackery system in the country, which is a major source of spreading Hepatitis. The Minister for Health Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani stated this while addressing a seminar organised by Shifa International to mark the World Hospital Day here on Thursday. The Ministry of Health is working to devise a law to curb quackery, he noted. The Minister termed used syringes, un-screened blood transfusion, contaminated medial equipment and piercing as major causes of hepatitis spread. Taking note of the serious public health threats associated with the high prevalence of viral hepatitis, the Prime Minister has prioritised the subject in the National Health Policy the minister added. The ongoing Hepatitis Control Programme is an ample proof of his commitment, he remarked. He stressed the need of educating public and the healthcare providers on this particular issue. He lauded Shifa International Hospital for the initiative and efforts carried out regarding public awareness about hepatitis. Addressing the gathering consultant gastroenterologist Dr Nasir Khokhar informed that hepatitis is the 9th deadly disease in the world and mentioned that viral hepatitis has become a global epidemic. He said 350 million people are long-term hepatitis carrier worldwide and 25 percent of these may die due to hepatitis or related complications. He informed that hepatitis A virus effects through close personal contact, contaminated water and food and rarely blood exposure. He said in 90 percent cases, hepatitis vaccination is reported to be effective. He stressed the importance of screened blood testing and transfusion, preventive measures to stop re-use of syringes, and the use of new blades for shaving and haircuts. He was of the view that hepatitis was spreading fast because of ignorance among the patients and a lack of proper preventive measures. It is wroth mentioning here that there are five types of hepatitis - A, B, C, D and E - of which A and E are caused through oral infection, contaminated water and unhygienic food. Hepatitis B, C and D are caused through un-sterilised syringes, sexual relation, and blood transfusion and from mother to newborn baby.